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Alfredo Angulo Free at Last

(Photo © German Villasenor)
(Photo © German Villasenor)


On July 30, a federal judge ruled that junior middleweight contender Alfredo Angulo, who voluntarily entered the ICE Service Processing Center in El Centro, CA on January 18, 2012, be released into the U.S. Two weeks and a day later, with Angulo thinking he may never get out, the forces that kept him inside for four days shy of eight months finally relented and Angulo, just three days past his 30th birthday, walked out a free man.
 
Greeted by his adviser, Lucy Haro, Angulo was whisked away to be reunited with his mother and daughter along with friends and family.
 
“The judicial system has finally worked,” said one of Angulo’s attorneys, Mike Miller, who is also a co-manager of the fighter. “I am glad to see it. They always say that the wheels of justice turn slowly. This is the epitome of that statement but, you know, a lot of hard work and a lot of prayers and he is out and that is a fact. He can pick up his career.”

Angulo last fought in November of 2011 in Mexico against James Kirkland. The fight was a savage affair that saw Angulo drop Kirkland moments into the bout only to be dropped later that same round. He would ultimately be stopped on his feet by Kirkland in the sixth round.
 
Angulo last fought in the U.S against Joachim Alcine on July 17, 2010. Soon after, Angulo discovered his visa had expired some time beforehand and went back to Mexico in order to get it straightened out. Thus began an over two-year odyssey that finally came to an end Tuesday afternoon. Angulo had entered the ICE detention center under the advice of his immigration attorney, both understanding the process would take three days before Angulo would be granted a bond and released. Instead, he was kept for eight months with one reason after another given for why he was not allowed to leave custody.
 
According to Miller, Angulo can now receive a social security number and a work visa. Training will begin once Angulo is settled but he is currently without a head coach and training base. According to one source, it is unlikely he would resume working with Clemente Medina, his former trainer, nor Nacho Beristain who is close friends with Angulo but is based out of Mexico City. Angulo looks to resume his career in the U.S.
 
For now, a father and son reunites with his daughter and mother. A long road that seemed hopeless ends happily.
 
Though it was off the record, Angulo and I spoke late Tuesday night. It was brief but jubilant. I’ve never heard such joy as I did in Alfredo’s voice. Free at last. Free to have a chance at the life he has always dreamed of.
 
Thoughts on the IBF Ruling and Lamont Peterson
 
When the IBF ruled this past week that Lamont Peterson, who admitted to willingly having synthetic testosterone in his body when he fought Amir Khan December of last year, was using that drug as medication rather than for performance-enhancing, they opened up a Pandora’s Box of future problems.
 
I’ve always believed Peterson was misdiagnosed. In my opinion, after hearing how he trains, twice a day and very hard each session, I felt maybe he had fatigued and depleted his body and that was why he felt the way he did in camp. A fighter or athlete that overworked him or herself is going to have low testosterone readings on the cursory level at times. This is why extensive testing with a certified endocrinologist is needed and extensive blood work should be done.
 
From what I understand of the research given to the IBF by the Peterson camp, Lamont was looked into from a biological perspective, the way he should have been in the first place.
 
It should be noted that Peterson has never denied wrongdoing. He didn’t have to say he had synth test in his system for the first Khan fight; no one would have known but he did as way of explanation. That should be taken as good behavior and I applaud it. But it does not change the fact that he won a title fight with an unspecified T/E ratio (his reported 3.77 T/E ratio was when he tested positive for the rematch) and synthetic testosterone in his system.
 
In any commission anywhere in the world, you need medical permission known as a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) in order to use synthetic testosterone. It is becoming more and more popular to do so among athletes, especially in MMA.
 
By allowing Peterson to keep his belt and by exonerating him of the infraction by essentially saying, “He didn’t mean it,” sets a bad precedent where any fighter in violation can mount the ignorance defense successfully by citing this case.
 
The bottom line with Peterson or any athlete who tests positive is that they are responsible for what goes into their body. Period. In the most dangerous of all sports, it makes no sense not to teach that lesson through stripping of the title and/or a suspension of some kind. The doctor in question should get a thorough examination as well and receive sanctions for prescribing a banned substance without properly advising his client if in fact that is the case. It certainly seemed to be when I interviewed Dr. John A. Thompson. That Peterson has had it rough in the press or among the fighter community should be of no concern to us. We didn’t allow Dr. John A. Thompson to put synthetic testosterone in our bodies. Peterson did.
 
It will not surprise me one bit to see boxers now attempt to legally obtain what so many are estimated to be doing illegally. Synthetic testosterone is the athlete drug of choice nowadays. We can limit its use and punish those using it illegally or we can do like Nevada State Athletic Director Keith Kizer recently did and inform a room full of fighters as to the best way to obtain a TUE for testosterone.
 
It all depends on the answer to one simple question: Do we really want clean sports?
 
You can email Gabriel at maxgmontoya@gmail.com, follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gabriel_montoya and catch him every Monday on “The Next Round” with Steve Kim. You can also tune in to hear him and co-host David Duenez live on the BlogTalk radio show Leave-It-In-The-Ring.com, Thursdays at 5-8 p.m., PST.
 


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